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PANAMA CITY &
THE PACIFIC COAST

Experience the melting pot capital and the famed Panama Canal before a few days at a private island retreat on the pristine Pacific coast

DAY 1

Arrival into Panama

Arrival into Panama City’s Tocumen international airport and private transfer to your boutique hotel in the historic Casco Viejo.

Panama City is easily reached from all large US gateway airports via major U.S. carriers as well as Copa Airlines, which also makes it a convenient stopover on the way to Colombia and other destinations in South America.

Check-in and remainder of the day at leisure. We’ll help you with some great dining and cocktail suggestions near your hotel.

Services: Arrival Transfer
Hotel: American Trade Hotel
Meals: None

 

DAY 2

PANAMA CITY AND THE CANAL

After breakfast, depart with your private English-speaking guide and driver for your full day exploration, beginning with a tale of two Panamas. You'll head up to Ancon Hill (650 feet above sea level) for amazing 360-degree views of Panama City and the canal. During this visit, your guide will give you insight into Panama's modern history, including the near century of U.S. presence in the country and how that helped create the country you see today. (Please note that Ancon Hill can only be accessed by walking up and down along a gradual path, as cars are not allowed.)

Your next stop visits the famous fish market where you will have a delicious ceviche tasting. This market was donated by the Japanese government in 1989 at a cost of 8 million dollars and opened its doors to the public in 1994. The idea was for local fishermen to greatly benefit from it and create a sustainable living for them and their families. Today the fish market is a most stop when visiting Panama City.

Afterwards, explore the historic and picturesque Casco Viejo, also known as the walled city. Casco Viejo was founded by Spanish in 1673 following the destruction of the original city of Panama (Old Panama). Together with Old Panama, the Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historical and artistic value. As you walk around, your guide will tell you about the history that has shaped the culture and diverse population of the city. You'll visit not only majestic squares and cafés but also areas of Casco to see places where locals do their shopping and carry about their daily lives.

This afternoon, you'll see one of the modern wonders of the world with a VIP special access visit to the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal. Here you will learn about the history and construction of the Canal at the Visitor’s Center and Museum, and then you'll go out and get up close to see a ship transit the canal.

OTHER IDEAS FOR TODAY:
  • Go in-depth behind the scenes with a special access visit to the control tower of the newer Cocoli locks
  • Visit an Emberá indigenous community in Chagres National Park
  • See the canal from the air, with a one-hour helicopter ride over the Canal zone and Panama City
  • Cook and enjoy authentic Panamanian dishes with a private rooftop cooking class, followed by dinner
  • Explore Jewish life in Panama City with a member of the community

Please note that the order of the day's activities are subject to change based on weather conditions, availability and Canal operations.

Services: Full Day Private Tour
Hotel: American Trade Hotel
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 3

Rainforest adventure just outside the capital

You don't have to venture very far outside the city to see why Panama is a nature lover's paradise - and today you'll get a glimpse with this full-day guided exploration of the surrounding rainforest and canal zone.

You'll begin this morning by visiting Soberania National Park, a biodiverse rainforest only 16 miles outside of the city. This incredible park encompassing 55,000 acres is known for its abundance of birds - over 525 known species - and is part of an ecotourism project of conservation and environmental sustainability. At the park, enjoy a walk on the trails to take in the rainforest scenery and discover its great variety of bird and mammal species, and climb the park's observation tower (131 feet) to spy the famous blue cotinga and toucans in flight.

After lunch (included), continue for a private boat ride on Gatun Lake, a massive artificial lake that forms a major part of the Panama Canal. The lake is located within an immensely diverse tropical ecological zone and is surrounded by untouched exotic rainforest. A boat ride on the lake will reveal the area’s many different species of birds, monkeys, iguanas and sloths, among others. You will also have the opportunity to navigate close to massive ships as they wait to cross the Canal.

This is a perfect adventure for nature lovers, but also a great way to see a different but primary part of the Canal system! (Please note that the order of the day's activities are subject to change based on weather conditions and availability.)

Services: Full Day Private Tour
Hotel: American Trade Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 4

Panama City to Chiriquí province

After breakfast and check-out, meet your driver for private transfer to the airport (Tocumen or Albrook) for your flight to David, in western's Panama's fertile Chiriquí province. On arrival, you'll be met by your driver for the shared land transfer (approx. 90 minutes) to the port of Boca Chica, where Isla Palenque staff will welcome you for the 15-minute boat ride to your undiscovered, barefoot luxury island sanctuary. (Private transfer can be arranged at an additional cost.)

The island's 400 acres of lush jungle are framed by 7 untouched beaches and feature a number of wilderness trails and hidden spaces. Isla Palenque's focus on sustainability includes locally sourced ingredients, furniture made from trees that have fallen naturally on the island, and a small footprint with just 5% of the island developed and over half kept as a nature reserve. The professional and personalized service ensures that guests here feel both well cared for but also free to explore.

Stays here include accommodations in either the beachfront casitas or the private beachfront villa estate, as well as all meals, wifi, use of kayaks, paddleboards and other on-site tours. Isla Palenque also offers guests a variety of optional off-property experiences including snorkeling and fishing.

Isla Palenque is much more than a typical beach vacation, and is the perfect spot for wildlife and nature lovers, those looking for and soft adventure beach vacation, and for families of all ages. Three nights is our minimum recommended stay here, but many guests stay 4-6 nights to fully relax and enjoy all the island has to offer.

Hotel: Isla Palenque
Services: Transfers
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAYS 5-6

ENJOYING ISLA PALENQUE

Two days to enjoy all that Isla Palenque has to offer:

  • 7 private beaches
  • Infinity pool and yoga deck
  • Island hikes of varying durations and levels of difficulty
  • Kayaks
  • Paddleboards
  • Island hopping by boat
  • Fishing
  • Whale watching
  • Full-service spa treatments

Once your trip is confirmed, your Almaz Journeys Travel Designer will send you the full menu of options, both those included in your stay as well as optional add-ons.

Hotel: Isla Palenque
Services: Included activities at Isla Palenque
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7

Back to Panama City and onward

After breakfast and check-out, you'll return by boat back to Boca Chica, where your driver will meet you for your shared land transfer back to David (approx. 90 minutes) for your return flight to Panama City or continuing on to explore the cloud forest and world-class coffee farms of Boquete, in the Chiriqui highlands. (Private transfer can be arranged at an additional cost.)

Services: Transfer
Meals: Breakfast

NOT DONE WITH PANAMA YET?

Looking to spend some more time exploring this beautiful country? Here are some ideas to tempt you to stick around.

  • Spend 3-4 nights enjoying the nature and Afro-Caribbean culture of Portobelo Bay, at El Otro Lado private retreat.
  • Check out the cloud forests surrounding Boquete in the Chiriquí Highlands, home to the resplendent quetzal and the world's most expensive variety of shade-grown coffee, Gesha.
  • Sail the San Blas islands for a couple nights aboard your own private catamaran.

PRIVATE JOURNEY PRICING

PER PERSON

 

2 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $4,200 per person, double occupancy

4 Guests Traveling Together
From USD $3,700 per person, double occupancy

 

INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY

Accommodations
  • Three (3) nights at American Trade Hotel Panama (Cuarto room)
    • Upgraded rooms available at an additional cost.
    • La Concordia boutique hotel also available; costs vary.
  • Three (3) nights at Isla Palenque (Beachfront Casita)
Meals
  • Breakfast daily
  • Lunch on days 3-6
  • Dinner on days 4-6
Transportation and Services
  • Private, local English-speaking guides for all included tours in Panama City
  • Private transportation for sightseeing and airport transfers in Panama City as described, with bottled water.
  • Included activities and shared transfers at Isla Palenque
  • Entrances for all sights and experiences specifically included in your itinerary
  • 24-hour local emergency contacts
  • Full-service advance tailoring of your itinerary and assistance with restaurant reservations

NOT INCLUDED IN YOUR JOURNEY

  • Air travel
  • Lunches or dinners beyond those specifically included
  • Alcohol
  • Gratuities
  • Medical or travel insurance
  • Any other items or services not specifically included in the itinerary

Excited to learn more?

Get in touch with us with us today to start planning!

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